Procter and Gamble

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PROCTER AND GAMBLE. Founded in 1837 in Cincinnati, Ohio, by British immigrants and brothers-in-law William Procter and James Gamble as a soap and candle-making venture, the Procter and Gamble Company (P and G)incorporated in 1890 and is the largest manufacturer of household products in the United States, with over 250 brands of consumer goods. In 1879, P and G introduced Ivory and embarked on one of the earliest national advertising campaigns to sell the "99.44/100% pure" soap. The company became a leader in innovative and vigorous marketing that, in the 1930s and 1940s, included sponsorship of radio and television programs, nicknamed "soap operas." Research in P and G laboratories later produced Crisco, the first all-vegetable shortening in 1911; Tide, the first synthetic laundry detergent in 1946; Crest, the first fluoride toothpaste in 1955; and Pampers, the first disposable diapers in 1961. P and G also pioneered such business innovations as an employee profit-sharing program in 1887 and the brand management system in 1931. Acquisitions of smaller companies after World War II diversified the multinational conglomerate into coffee, paper products, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. In 2000 amidst a worldwide company reorganization, P and G, with 110,000 employees and operations in over seventy countries, achieved record revenue of nearly $40 billion, approximately half of which came from international sales.


Jorgensen, Janice, ed. Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994.

Schisgall, Oscar. Eyes on Tomorrow: The Evolution of Procter and Gamble. Chicago: J. G. Ferguson Publishing Company/Doubleday, 1981.

Jeffrey T.Coster

See alsoSoap and Detergent Industry ; Soap Operas .